American Trainers Approve Meydan Move to Dirt

The decision to replace the all-weather Tapeta Footings surface at Meydan with dirt has had an impact on the 2015 Dubai World Cup races, not least in the regeneration of interest among American trainers.

After dominating the marquee Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) over the old Nad al Sheba dirt track, American interest waned when Meydan opened in 2010 with the rich brown Tapeta oval inside its grass course. The exception, of course, was Animal Kingdom  , who was a proven commodity on the all-weather surface at home. Other than that, not much. And the Americans who did show up on World Cup night didn’t fare very well.


Four Penn National Vets Face Federal Charges

In a move that sounded a lot like the other shoe dropping, federal criminal charges have been filed against four racetrack veterinarians involved in treating horses at Penn National Race Course near Grantville, Pa.

Late March 26, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced criminal charges had been filed against racetrack vets Kevin Brophy, 60, of Florida; Fernando Motta, 44, of Lancaster, Pa., Christopher Korte, 43, of Pueblo, Col., and Renee Nodine, 52, of Annville, Pa.


Wise Dan Making Progress, Still Tack-Walking

Morton Fink’s two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan is progressing well since he returned to tack-walking at Keeneland at the beginning of March, but the chestnut gelding will require 30 more days in recovery before he can go to the track, trainer Charlie LoPresti said March 26.




MARCH 28, 2015

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‘Chrome’ Draws Outside Post 9 for World Cup

'Chrome' Draws Outside Post 9 for World Cup


Photo: Dubai Racing Club/Mathea Kelley

California Chrome

California Chrome, the 2014 Horse of the Year, drew the outside gate in a field of nine for the $10 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 28, and co-owner Steve Coburn said he loves that spot.

Main Sequence, the second reigning United States Eclipse Award champ on the Meydan card, drew post 5 for the $6 million Dubai Sheema Classic presented by Longines (UAE-I), also in a field of nine. The Todd Pletcher-trained Mshawish landed post 3 for the Dubai Turf Sponsored by DP World (UAE-I).

And in the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen, sponsored by Gulf News (UAE-I), 2013 Xpressbet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) winner Secret Circle will start from post 7, Salutos Amigos drew post 5, and Big Macher has post 6.

ANGST: Secret Circle Strong Into Golden Shaheen

California Chrome, however, was the center of attention at the well-attended draw ceremony in the Meydan auditorium.

“He has natural speed. He can get out and not get any dirt in his face,” said Coburn, who sported his trademark cowboy hat at the draw. “We’re happy with this post.”

Trainer Art Sherman said jockey Victor Espinoza “knows the horse well, and that gate shouldn’t be any problem” for the Lucky Pulpit   colt, who will make his first start since finishing second to Shared Belief in the San Antonio Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park Feb. 7.

Sherman said California Chrome has trained well since arriving at Meydan, is holding his weight, and looks primed for a top performance.

KIECKHEFER: ‘Chrome’ Morphing Into Worldwide Brand

The problem could be the rest of the field, which includes Donn Handicap (gr. I) winner Lea, an in-form Prince Bishop, Japan Cup (Jpn-I) winner Epiphaneia, dirt specialist Hokko Tarumae, and defending World Cup champion African Story.

Bill Mott, who saddled Cigar to win the first World Cup March 27, 1996, is back with Lea and was lauded by Dubai Racing Club officials for providing not only the initial impetus for the race but for continuity over two decades.

“I’m very proud of being associated with the first winner, Cigar, and happy to be here with Lea,” Mott said after Lea drew post 5 for the World Cup. “I understand speed has been doing well here and he has tactical speed, so this should be a good draw.”

Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor, who drew post 3 for African Story and post 1 for Prince Bishop, winced slightly at the latter draw.

“He has had problems in the past when he started from this stall,” bin Suroor said.

African Story won last year’s World Cup on the old Tapeta surface, replaced this year with dirt, and Suroor said the switch “won’t make any difference for him.” African Story has tried the surface twice in the run-up to World Cup night; he ran poorly after a long layoff in his first start, but then won impressively last time out, defeating a late-running Prince Bishop by a neck in the Maktoum Challenge Round 3 (UAE-I).

Hokko Tarumae drew post 2 and his owner, Michiaki Yabe, said the switch to dirt “is a big advantage.” He finished 16th in last year’s World Cup but has reeled off three straight wins in Japan, all on dirt tracks.

Epiphaneia will start from post 8. Others in the race are U.S. runners Candy Boy (post 6) and Long River (post 7), and Side Glance (post 4).

The Sheema Classic may be the toughest event on the nine-race, $30 million card. Main Sequence, last seen making his season debut Feb. 21 with a 3/4-length victory in the Mac Diarmida Stakes (gr. IIT) at Gulfstream Park, will meet Flintshire, the horse he defeated by half a length with his 2014 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) win at Santa Anita. He also faces Hong Kong star Designs On Rome and the smart turf mare Just The Judge, who won the E.P. Taylor Stakes (gr. IT) at Woodbine and was third in both the Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington International Racecourse and the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT).

Flintshire will start from post 4 in the 1 1/2-mile turf event. Designs On Rome drew post 7 and Just The Judge drew post 8.

The Dubai Turf, formerly known as the Dubai Duty Free, is run at nine furlongs and attracted a well-credentialed, international field of 10.

Mshawish, with Frankie Dettori up, will break from post 3. He won three straight races this fall at Gulfstream for Pletcher, including the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (gr. IT).

Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I) winner The Grey Gatsby has post 6. Trade Storm, who finished second to the subsequently retired Hunter’s Light in the Jebel Hatta (UAE-I) in February, goes from post 7. Euro Charline, idle since winning the Beverly D. last summer at Arlington, goes from the inside gate.

In the six-furlong Golden Shaheen on the dirt, the U.S. contingent faces Hong Kong’s top sprinter Lucky Nine and 2012 winner Krypton Factor in a field of 15.


Hail to The Chief


Allen Jerkens dropped back to pass. His son Steve was in the open briefly, but the ball was knocked down at the last minute by jockey Richard Migliore. Jerkens, visibly upset at himself for waiting too long to throw, uttered a few choice words of displeasure, then promptly called the next play. God forbid if he threw a perfect pass and you dropped it. You might as well have kept running, and that included his owner and main client Jack Dreyfus.

That was how competitive Allen Jerkens was, whether it was running a horse in grade I stakes or a $5,000 claimer or playing a game of touch football on the horse path outside his barn leading to the training track.

That scene, played out several times a week with his sons Jimmy and Steve, Dreyfus, and trainers, jockeys, exercise riders, and grooms, was typical of the unorthodox nature of Allen Jerkens, who never did anything by the book. He was an island unto himself and his shores were always open to anyone, whether millionaires or paupers. And one of the many legacies he left in seven decades of training horses was his ability to turn equine paupers into millionaires. Jerkens paid no attention to how blue a horse’s blood was. He made stars out of them all. And he rarely had blue bloods to work with.

It would take volumes upon volumes to capture the essence of Allen Jerkens, as there were so many aspects of his personality, his horsemanship, and his genius it is difficult to know where to begin.

For many, it is always best to start at the end by listing their career statistics and achievements. But that is the last place you would start with Jerkens, who never won a Triple Crown race and never won a Breeders’ Cup race, and that in itself says so much about the man and the pedestal on which everyone placed him. His career was more a kaleidoscope of unforgettable images and titanic feats, and about caring for people, all of which form an everlasting chronicle of Thoroughbred racing. To Jerkens, the Sport of Kings was not about kings at all. It was about everyday people and everyday horses, and a pure love of racing and the competitiveness it inspires.

Jerkens was an emotional person who brought out emotions in all those he came in contact with. It was a common sight to see Jerkens weep openly in the winner’s circle following a victory – not for himself or his owners, but for the horse who had just reached into his or her heart and given 100 percent.

Yes, Jerkens’ overall statistics are impressive. He trained 3,859 winners of nearly $104 million, placing him 11th and 14th, respectively, among trainers all-time, and became the youngest trainer, at age 45, to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. But as everyone knows, his reputation is not based so much on how much money he won or what races he won, but who he beat. Although he disliked the term “Giant Killer,” which followed him throughout his career, the fact is, the list of giants he slew reads like a Who’s Who of Thoroughbred racing.

In addition to defeating the great Kelso three times with Beau Purple (in the Suburban and Widener Handicaps and Man o’War Stakes) and the legendary Secretariat with Onion (in the grade I Whitney Handicap) and Prove Out (in the grade I Woodward Stakes), Jerkens upset Buckpasser (7-10) with Handsome Boy ($12.60) in the Brooklyn Handicap; Riva Ridge (1-2) with Prove Out ($11) in the Jockey Club Gold Cup; Forego (2-1) with Step Nicely ($17.40) in the Jerome Handicap; Cicada (2-5) with Pocasaba ($21.40) in the Black Helen Handicap; Numbered Account (4-5) with Blessing Angelica ($11.80) in the Delaware Handicap; Summer Guest (4-5) and Numbered Account (9-5) with Poker Night ($11.20) in the Top Flight Handicap; Numbered Account (3-10) with Poker Night ($8) in the Bed ‘o Roses Handicap; Malicious (7-10) with Winnie ($14.20) in the Gravesend Handicap; Wajima (3-10) with Group Plan ($14.40) in the Jockey Club Gold Cup; Fanfreluche (3-5) with Taken Aback ($16.40) in the Spinster Stakes; Moccasin (2-1) with Mac’s Sparkler ($10.40) in the Columbiana Handicap; Straight Deal (6-5),  with Mac’s Sparkler ($9.20) in the Black Helen Handicap; Straight Deal (7-10), Gamely (9-2), and Lady Pitt (5-1) with Mac’s Sparkler ($18.80) in the Beldame Stakes; and Temperence Hill (2-1) with Hechizado ($14.40) in the Brooklyn Handicap, and Skip Away (1-5) with Wagon Limit ($70) in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Almost every one of the horses mentioned above that Jerkens defeated was a champion. And eight of the horses he defeated are in the Hall of Fame.

As recently as 2012, Jerkens upset 1-5 favorite Agave Kiss with 39-1 Emma’s Encore in the grade III Victory Ride Stakes. And once again the tears flowed. He always tried his best to hold them back, but always failed.

In 1973, he may have had, in his own way, the greatest year ever by a trainer. When the year started, Onion had won only four-of-11 starts in allowance company; Prove Out had won only four races (a maiden and three allowance races) in 27 starts with Buddy Hirsch, finishing out of the money 17 times; Vertee had earned only $20,000 in his entire career; Poker Night had been running in $13,000 maiden claiming races; Step Nicely had broken his maiden in an $18,000 claiming race; and King’s Bishop was a solid OK stakes horse in the Midwest, trained by T.J. Kelly.

By the end of the year, all six horses had won the equivalent of grade I stakes for Jerkens, defeating the likes of Secretariat, Riva Ridge, Forego, and Numbered Account.

Jerkens’ career has always existed in a different realm than other trainers. He rewrote the meaning of the word unconventional, and simply put, did things differently than anyone else. He had to, because his stable was unlike anyone else’s. It usually was made up of a ragamuffin group of misfits and castoffs, most of which were owned by his longtime friend Jack Dreyfus, who was every bit as unconventional as Jerkens. Either Dreyfus was a genius at breeding unknown stallions to unknown mares or he hired a genius when he hired Jerkens. They truly were racing’s Odd Couple, but together they struck fear in every trainer and owner who sent a favorite to the post.

Even in his seventh decade of training and having only a handful of mediocre horses, Jerkens still was the most revered trainer in the country and idolized by those who now dominate the sport.

To demonstrate how unconventional Jerkens’ training methods were, two days before the Suburban Handicap, Jerkens worked Beau Purple a mile in 1:37 and galloped out 1 1/8 miles in 1:50. Two days later, Beau Purple went out and beat Kelso by 2 1/2 lengths, equaling the track record.

“I said to myself, ‘If this sonofagun isn’t bothered at all by this work, he’s going to run the race of his life.’” Jerkens said several years ago. “I came back to the barn later that afternoon and he was eating better than he ever did. Most horses with class will eat better when you work them hard, and the horses without class will back off their feed.”

Jerkens has always said there is no great secret to upsetting champions. “Great horses benefit from their reputation,” he once said. “Trainers are scared off and the fields usually are small with little or no competition. They win a lot of races by default. Take Secretariat for instance, if he didn’t have a nitwit like me to put two horses in against him he would have won both the Whitney and Woodward by default.

“The way I figure it, great horses don’t win all their races while at the top of their game. It’s physically and mentally impossible to keep them at that peak. But they’re good enough to win a lot of races when they’re only 80 percent. If you can catch them at that time with a horse who’s 110 percent, you have a shot to beat them. But you don’t have a prayer unless your horse is extra special on that given day, and you can catch a great horse going the other way.”

It sounds simple the way Jerkens puts it, but few trainers have had the knack of getting horses 110 percent on the days when it counted.

In Prove Out’s case, the colt had bad ankles and other problems, and his trainer William J. “Buddy” Hirsch could do little with him. By August of his 4-year-old year, he had won only four races (a maiden and three allowance races) in 27 career starts. The longest distance he’d ever won at was 1 1/16 miles, and that came in his maiden victory.

But Jerkens had his eye on Prove Out for a while, recalling the promise he had shown at Santa Anita at the end of his 3-year-old campaign. Jerkens and Hirsch were good friends, and one day Hirsch approached Jerkens and said, “I don’t want you to think I’m hustling you or anything, but that horse I saw you looking at is coming up for sale. He’s a little raunchy and Mr. Kleberg (King Ranch owner Robert Kleberg) is mad at him and wants to sell him.”

Jerkens had just sold Dreyfus’ Widener Handicap winner Vertee for a nice profit, and decided to take a chance on Prove Out, buying him for Dreyfus for $65,000. He began by concentrating on the colt’s ankles, tubbing them and poulticing them. He used a eucalyptus vaporizer to clear up his sinuses and applied linament to his shoulders. In short, he did everything he could to build him back up and alleviate any aches and pains that may have been bothering him.

Jerkens knew Prove Out came from families that were trained hard and felt he might respond to hard training, much like Beau Purple.Prove Out also had a bad habit of lugging in, so Jerkens put his best exercise rider, Jimmy Rhoades, on him to try to teach him to keep a straight course. Two weeks after getting him, Jerkens ran him in a seven-furlong allowance race at Saratoga on Aug. 24. To prevent him from lugging in, he equipped the colt with a burr and put an inside cup on his blinker. Prove Out responded by defeating the quick-footed Cutlass and the 3-5 favorite Forego by 6 1/2 lengths in a track-record 1:21 flat.

But after a poor performance in the Chesapeake Stakes at Bowie, in which he lugged again, hitting the rail, Jerkens became angry at the horse. In the morning, he equipped him with a severe run-out bit and turned it the opposite way. The bit had prongs that hit the side of the jaw, and Jerkens used it in the hope that during the race the burr would remind the horse of that bit hitting the side of his mouth and he would respond to it.

Jerkens decided to take a shot and run Prove Out in the weight-for-age Woodward, even though he’d have to pick up 15 pounds off the Chesapeake run the week before, concede seven pounds to Secretariat, and stretch out from 1 1/16 miles to 1 1/2 miles. But this was Allen Jerkens, and the rest, as they, is history, as Prove Out easily defeated Big Red, running the second fastest mile and a half in Belmont history, on a sloppy track.

Jerkens’ training of Prove for the two-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup went beyond unconventional. He breezed Prove Out a pair of slow miles, then breezed him three furlongs in :39 the Sunday before the race. The following morning, Prove Out worked a mile and a half in 2:39 3/5 with a final half in :49 1/5. Three days later, on the Thursday before the race, he galloped a mile and a half, after which he broke off into a dead run for a half-mile, which was timed in :47 2/5. He then galloped out an additional furlong in :12 3/5.

In the Gold Cup, he ran Riva Ridge into the ground through rapid fractions, and despite ducking in again and bouncing off the rail, he came home his final quarter in :24 4/5 to defeat the top-class stayer Loud by 4 3/4 lengths His time was 3:20 flat, and to this day only Kelso has run a faster two miles in this country (3:19 1/5 and 3:19 4/5).

With Onion, “He had run well early in the year, but it looked like he was tailing off a little after Jorge Velasquez let him run off by nine lengths for some reason in an allowance race,” Jerkens recalled. “I freshened him a little and pointed him toward the Whitney. There were rumors that Secretariat was going to run, so I figured it would be a small field.”

While Secretariat was breaking track records in his works, Onion was breezing seven furlongs in a sluggish 1:31.

“We went up to Saratoga to work Onion the Sunday before the race, and I ran into (jockey) Robyn Smith,” Jerkens said. “She asked to work Onion for me, but I told her it was too important a work. “She said to me, ‘Why, do you think I’m going to mess it up?’ So I let her work him and he went a half in :47 flat. Two days later, we ran him in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race and he won by eight lengths in 1:15 1/5, breaking the track record.

“We blew him out another eighth of a mile after the allowance race, and another eighth the morning of the Whitney. I was hoping Secretariat would chase everyone away and we’d have a good chance for second.”

One could have retired with the money made on Jerkens’ horses who were running for second.

Jimmy Rhodes exercised horses for Jerkens for nearly four decades, and had been around great horses, having exercised and broken Nashua and Bold Ruler for Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons.

“Allen is always doing something new,” Rhodes said back in the late ‘80s. “Just when I think I know what he’s going to do with a horse, he goes and does something else. I know one thing; I wouldn’t want to have to train against him. To beat Allen, you have to be at the top of your game.”

Longtime assistant trainer Andy Descernio, who rubbed Bold Ruler for Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons and had been around horses like Gallant Fox, once said, “I’ve only worked for two trainers on the racetrack, and like Sunny Jim, Allen has that special touch. And he’s always coming up with new things.”

Stable agent Bill Stone had worked with Max Hirsch and Bert Mulholland and said Jerkens was one of the best horsemen he’d ever seen. “He has a God-given sense about him,” he said. “He can do anything with a horse – take a sprinter and stretch him out, get a cuckoo bird and calm him down, buy or claim a cheap horse and make a stakes winner out of him. He just makes horses happy.”

The great Daily Racing Form columnist Charles Hatton said of Jerkens, “In order tro get on with horses one must think like a horse, Jerkens not only studies and understands each of his horses, he handles them with sympathy, and in fact is devoted to them.”

Chicago Dave, who had worked for Jerkens off and on over the years and been with Wayne Lukas, Shug McGaughey, Woody Stephens, and Jack Van Berg, called Jerkens, “The last of the real horsemen. He perceives things others just don’t see. In the springtime, he’d pay old drunks to go out and get a wheelbarrow full of dandelions, because they have a natural remedy in the roots that keeps horses healthy. Who knows what Allen could have achieved if he went out and bought horses at the sale like Lukas.”
And who knows what he might have achieved if he wasn’t dealing mainly with obscure pedigrees all those years.

No one appreciated Jerkens more than Dreyfus. The two developed a longtime relationship that transcended the typical trainer-owner relationship. “Allen seems to know the horses’ feelings,” Dreyfus once said. “He puts himself in their place and they seem to know this and do their best for him. It’s simply magnificent the things he can get some horses to do for him.”

Jerkens’ father, Joseph, was an officer in the Austrian cavalry of Emperor Joseph Franz, and his father before him owned and bred horses in the days of the immortal racemare Kincsem, so it is apparent that horses were in Jerkens’ blood. Joseph Jerkens came to America in 1908 and settled in Islip, Long Island, where Allen was born in 1929. He was galloping horses in the field at age 8 and kept a scrapbook on horses that he saved over the years, cutting out every horse picture he could find from magazines, newspapers, and advertisements. He loved horses so much he would sit on his porch just to see the milk horse go by. Throughout his life, Jerkens always spoke about his disdain for the whip.

He eventually began operating riding academies and trained polo ponies and hunters before riding polo ponies on a regular basis. When his father started training Thoroughbreds as a hobby and rescuing animals that were about to be put down, Allen dropped out of high school at age 16 to follow the horses.

He never stopped following them and loved being around them every day to the day he died. It was only appropriate that Jerkens’ first Thoroughbred was a horse he purchased from one of his father’s friends for $400 named Crack Time. Despite not having a trainer’s license at the time (his father wanted him to wait until he was 21), Jerkens got Crack Time to break his maiden and then win an overnight handicap before being claimed by Walter Kelley for $12,500.

Jerkens has such amazing recall, he probably could have told you what Crack Time worked in before his races. He would often mention work times and fractions and final times of races run 20 or 30 years earlier, and they would always turn out to be right.

Jerkens leaves a void that will never be filled, not only in racing, but in life. He also leaves a treasure chest of memories.

During one of his rare visits to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, with Devil His Due, Jerkens told novice trainer Shelley Riley, “You’re not a legend until you’ve won the Kentucky Derby.”

Jerkens of all people should have known better. He spent a lifetime disproving those words.


Shared Belief, Bayern Nominated to CT Classic


Photo: Benoit Photo

Photo: Benoit Photo

Shared Belief, who most recently won the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), and Bayern, winner of the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) in his most recent start last November, are among 56 nominees for the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic (gr. II) April 18.

Also nominated is 2015 Horse of the Year California Chrome, who will race March 28 in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).

Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races officials said March 23 Shared Belief “remains a possibility” for the 1 1/8-mile Charles Town Classic. The 4-year-old Candy Ride   gelding, trained and partially owned by Jerry Hollendorfer, has won 10 of 11 starts and was the champion 2-year-old male of 2013.

Bayern, trained by Bob Baffert, has been training at Santa Anita Park for his 2015 debut, and most recently the Offlee Wild   colt worked five furlongs in :59 4/5 March 20. Baffert won the Charles Classic two years ago with Game On Dude, who is now retired.

Other grade I winners nominated to the Classic are Lea, who also is entered in the Dubai World Cup; Moreno, who is scheduled to race in the New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) March 28 and return three weeks later for the Charles Town race; and the filly Warren’s Veneda, who has won three consecutive stakes for females in California.

Trainer Todd Pletcher has the most horses nominated at seven, including Race Day, who won the Razorback Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park March 14. Twenty-four of the 56 nominees have won at least one graded stakes, officials said.

Nominations for a pair of undercard stakes—the $150,000 Sugar Maple presented by CANTER Mid-Atlantic for fillies and mares and the $100,000 Robert Hilton Memorial for 3-year-olds—close April 4. Both are run at seven furlongs.

The special afternoon program includes four West Virginia-bred stakes and two handicaps.


Dubai Trackwork Notes, March 23

Dubai Trackwork Notes, March 23
Photo: Dubai Racing Club/Neville Hopwood

California Chrome at Meydan March 23.
Following is a look at some of the horses preparing for races on the $30 million Dubai World Cup card, to be run March 28 at Meydan.
$10 million Emirates Dubai World Cup (UAE-I)
California Chrome—Steve Coburn and Perry Martin’s California Chrome, the likely Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) favorite, continued his preparation for Saturday’s race by galloping 2,400 meters over the Meydan dirt oval on Monday morning.
According to assistant trainer Alan Sherman, the 4-year-old son of Lucky Pulpit   will breeze a quarter mile Tuesday morning at approximately 5 a.m. local time
“He seems to be handling the track well but we will know a little more after the work,” Sherman said. “He has run well on every track he has ever been on so it’s not a big concern.”
A nine-time winner with grade I wins in the Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Hollywood Derby on his resume, California Chrome would eclipse the US$10 million mark in career earnings with a win on Saturday.
“I’m just glad the owners decided to run him another year,” Sherman said. “The Dubai World Cup has always been on (co-owner Martin) Perry’s radar.”
Steve Coburn and 77-year-old trainer Art Sherman were scheduled to arrive in Dubai Monday night, with Perry Martin slated to arrive on Wednesday.
“It’s a long flight for dad, but he’ll be alright. He’s not flying coach (class),” Sherman said with a chuckle.
Candy Boy— Doug Watson saddles Candy Boy who will be making his local debut in the Dubai World Cup. “He is really well and we are delighted with him,” said Watson. “We missed Super Saturday to bring him straight to this race and are glad we did. We were warned he is quite lazy at home, and he has been, but we are learning about him all the time. He has been to Meydan to work three times but will do his last piece here at home. “He is a big horse–weighing in about 540kgs (1190 pounds)–and hopefully the turns at Meydan will suit him more than the tighter American tracks.”
Epiphaneia—The 2014 Japan Cup winner started jogging and had a canter on the Meydan dirt track on Monday. Assistant trainer Norihiko Kishimoto said:  “It was his third day to come out on the track this morning, and he was very relaxed and in good form. Thanks to all the support from people of Northern Farm, vets and Japan Racing Association, he traveled nicely during the flight and arrived here safely. As for the dirt surface, I felt that once the horse went fast, he got grip of the track. I think Epiphaneia will suit the surface.”
Hokko Tarumae—The winner of last year’s Champions Cup (former Japan Cup Dirt) cantered over 1,600 meters to 1,800 meters over the Meydan dirt track before getting familiarized with the starting gate on Monday. “I wanted to keep him fresh, and I gave him only an easy canter today,” said assistant trainer Masakazu Nishiura. “He went through the travelling very well.  He will gallop on Wednesday.”
Lea—A top contender for Saturday’s race, Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschemeider’s Lea galloped 2,400 meters over the Meydan main oval on Monday morning. “He went through his normal routine but he also stood in the gate, and that went very well,” said assistant trainer Riley Mott. “He’s had three gallops here and is moving very well over the track but you can’t fully get a gauge on how much he likes it until you run over it.”
The 23-year-old son of Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, Riley was just a young child when Cigar won the inaugural running of the Dubai World Cup for his dad in 1996. “I don’t have much recollection obviously, but I do know how significant this race is to my father and the owners.” Mott said. “Not only does the ($10 million) purse stand out, but the prestige is growing by the year.” According to Mott, Lea will have a blow out on either Wednesday or Thursday. “The boss (father Bill) gets into town tomorrow morning and he’ll decide exactly what the horse will do,” Mott said. “He’ll likely go a quarter mile.” Jockey Joel Rosario, who been aboard for Lea’s most recent starts, is slated to ride on Saturday.
Long River—Salem bin Ghadayer saddles Long River. “It is exciting to have a runner in the Dubai World Cup and we are really looking forward to it,” said the trainer. “He has improved fitness-wise since Super Saturday and can hopefully run a nice race.”
Side Glance—Andrew Balding’s globetrotting eight-year-old shipped into Dubai on Sunday and is due to appear on the track for the first time on Tuesday morning, as he prepares for a third assault on the race in which he has twice finished fourth.
$6 million Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I)
Dolniya—Dolniya, trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre, came onto the main track at Meydan on Monday morning together with stable companion Cladocera and fellow French-trained Solow. Dolniya did a slow canter for about 600m and then cantered for 1,200 meters. Antoine Creton, traveling head lad for the yard, said: “Dolniya is in good form and we are very happy with her.”
Flintshire—Richard Lambert, travelling head lad for the Andre Fabre yard, was watching Flintshire work on the grass track at Meydan on Monday morning. He said: “Flintshire cantered on the grass track over 1,400 meters. He has traveled well and is in good form.”
Harp Star—The winner of the 2014 Group 1 Japanese 1000 Guineas (Oka Sho) did an easy canter on the Meydan dirt track on Monday. The assistant trainer Tsuyoshi Matsuda said: “I asked her to run at the pace of 15 seconds each 200 meters yesterday, so I put her in an easy canter this morning. I would like to say thank you for all the help from Dubai Racing Club, everything went well so far, and she fits very well.”
Main Sequence— Main Sequence, the Eclipse Award-winning victor in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita Park in November, has adapted well to his surroundings at Meydan, according to Alice Clapham, longtime assistant to trainer Graham Motion. “He took to the flight well and has been training well. We’ve been keeping him to the training track,” Clapham said. “Graham gets in this afternoon and we’ll decide if we will do something more with him. If we do anything (with regard to more serious work) it will be tomorrow. We may bring him over to the main track on Wednesday to gate train.”
One And Only—The 2014 Japanese Derby winner cantered easily for a lap on the Meydan dirt track on Monday. Assistant trainer Shinsuke Hashiguchi said: “We drove him a bit strongly on the home stretch yesterday, so we just stretched his legs this morning. “He keeps his good condition, as he is at home. Everything went smoothly including the travelling. He has not lost any weight. This will be his first race since last December, but there is no concern about it. He will gallop on Wednesday.”
Sheikhzayedroad—Runner-up in the group II Dubai City Of Gold sponsored by Emirates Skycargo on March 7, the 6-year-old cantered for one circuit on the main dirt track. “He’s fine,” said trainer, David Simcock. “He has become a stable favorite and his last run was good.”
$6 million DP World Dubai Turf (UAE-I)
$6 million DP World Dubai Turf (UAE-I)
Cladocera—Cladocera is trained by Alain de Royer Dupre at Chantilly in France and on Monday morning came onto the main track at Meydan, together with Dolniya and the Freddy Head trained Solow. Travelling head lad Antoine Creton said: “All our horses are well and will continue with a routine gallop, like this morning, over 1200 or 1400m.”
Euro Charline—The Marco Botti-trained filly arrived in Dubai on Sunday and is due to clear quarantine on Tuesday.
Farraaj—Oisin Murphy is looking forward to riding the local debutant. “He is a nice new horse in the yard,” said Murphy. “He has good form in Europe and Australia so deserves a chance in this company. It is a strong race but I am looking forward to riding him in a race.”
Limario—Trainer Doug Watson said: “He was perhaps a little bit disappointing last time when well beaten on Super Saturday. “We expected better and are hoping for more on Saturday in a very strong race.
Mshawish—The Todd Pletcher-trained entire took to the Meydan dirt track shortly before 7 a.m. for an easy gallop one and a half times around the 1800m oval under exercise rider Nick Bush. Ginny De Pasquale, who will be supervising the son of Medaglia d’Oro, was pleased, remarking: “He was very relaxed. Unbelievably relaxed. He seems to be enjoying himself.” Monday marked the horse’s third trip to the track since arriving in Dubai last week. De Pasquale said that Mshawish, who comes into the Dubai Turf off three straight wins at Gulfstream Park in Florida, will school in the Meydan paddock Monday night. “He’s usually pretty good but we’ll let him look around tonight so he’s focuses on the job on the big night. I’m going to walk over to the paddock myself before we bring him over so I can re-familiarise myself with it,” she said.
Solow—The Freddy Head-trained grey Solow was leading fellow French trained Dolniya and Cladocera onto the main track at Meydan on Monday morning. He cantered over 1400m and Regis Babedette, travelling head lad of Freddy Head, confirmed: “I’m very happy with him. He is in really good form and has adapted well to his surroundings. Freddy Head will be here tomorrow but as I said, everything is very well.”
The Grey Gatsby—This top-class turf runner, trained in Britain by Kevin Ryan, arrived in Dubai on Sunday and will be eligible to exercise on the main track when he clears quarantine on Tuesday.
Trade Storm—The globe-trotting seven-year-old, runner-up in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta sponsored by Emirates Airline on March 7, completed two laps of the main dirt track at a steady canter. He is due to stretch out with greater purpose on Tuesday morning.
Umgiyo— “He won well on his first start and we have stepped up in trip and class in two subsequent outings,” said trainer Mike De Kock. “He has improved with each run and is very fit now. Hunter’s Light is out of the race. He would have been a major player and we were not that far behind him the last twice. “Johnny Geroudis will ride and we are hoping they go a good gallop, which should help us.”
$2 million S&M Al Naboodah Group UAE Derby (UAE-II)
Dear Domus—The colt cantered at a pace of 15 seconds each 200m on the Meydan turf track on Monday. Trainer Yutaka Takahashi said: “The quality of dirt seems to be different from the one at home, so I try to use both dirt and turf course. “Travelling abroad for racing is a new experience for me and my horse, so I came here with him. He travelled safely, and I am happy with his good condition.”
Faithful Creek—The Brian Meehan-trained three-year-old arrived in Dubai on Sunday and is due to clear quarantine on Tuesday.
Golden Barows—The three-year-old Tapit colt had an easy canter on the Meydan dirt track on Monday. Assistant trainer Kazutomo Mori said, “He came out on the track for the first time today since he has arrived, so I just cantered him to get familiarised with the new surroundings. He was a bit tense but I do not worry.  He will move into a high gear.”
Mubtaahij—The Al Bastakiya winner represents Mike de Kock.  “We were pretty confident before Super Saturday,” said the trainer. “We knew the step up in trip would really suit him and he won the Al Bastakiya well. This is a stronger race with two or three big dangers but our horse is fit, well and proven under the conditions.”
My Johnny Be Good—Trainer Eoin Harty watched from the Meydan grandstand as My Johnny Be Good was put through a 400 meter workout under exercise rider Nick Bush, who met the colt in the tunnel heading to the track after having just got off the Dubai Turf contender Mshawish.  Harty clocked the son of Colonel John   in :47 and change. “He galloped out good,” added the trainer.  “He shipped over well and has been doing well since he got here.  I’ve been here plenty of times so I know what works–or at least I think I do.” The 3-year-old colt is coming in from an eighth-place run in the grade III Tampa Bay Derby in Florida, in which he was beaten nearly 30 lengths.  Harty knows the horse is better than he showed in that effort: “In my opinion he was short a workout heading into that  race and he ran like he was short,” he said. “The schedule didn’t go according to plan.”
Tap That—The runner-up in a local group I at NRA-Kawasaki last December did a piece of easy work for one and a half laps of the Meydan dirt track on Monday. Assistant trainer Yuya Shiozu said, “He gets familiarised with the new surroundings and is getting relaxed every day. We will gallop him on Wednesday.”
$1 million IPIC Al Quoz Sprint (UAE-I)
Ahtoug—Ahtoug represents Charlie Appleby. “The 1,000 meters at Meydan really suits him,” said Appleby. “Obviously it is going to be a competitive race but he should produce a big performance under his optimum conditions.”
Amber Sky—Trainer Ricky Yiu: “He’s experienced with the travel having won this race last year and the boys in my team said he took it well again. He will be out on the main track on Tuesday hopefully.”
Bundle of Joy—Trainer David Hall: “Reports are there were no complications with the trip. I’ll be there myself on Tuesday, although he will stay in the quarantine area then. I’m happy enough with the news so far.”
Caspar Netscher—One of three intended runners from David Simcock’s British stable on Dubai World Cup night, the six-year-old entire completed one circuit of the main dirt track. He is scheduled to round off his preparation with some sharper exercise on Tuesday.
Caspian Prince—Caspian Prince has had four runs during the Dubai World Cup Carnival and managed to make all and win in handicap company. Trainer Tony Carroll is due to overcome his fear of flying to be in Dubai for the race and his six-year-old did not appear on the main track on Monday morning.
FarmahThe François Rohaut-trained Farmah came onto the main track at Meydan on Monday morning. He was ridden by Doric Binot, who said: “We did a slow canter and then just quickened progressively. He worked on Saturday under Paul Hanagan, who was very pleased with that piece of work. All is going well.”
Green Mask—The Wesley Ward-trained Green Mask had a strong workout over the Meydan turf course Monday morning, restricting his main activity to the turf chute over which the 1000m race will be run.  Ward is still in the United States and leaving his Florida base on Wednesday. The horse is under the care of longtime Ward assistant Jose Robles who has worked for the Eclipse Award-winning apprentice rider-turned-trainer for 25 years. Green Mask has finished second in both of his starts this year – one at Gulfstream Park and one at Tampa Bay Downs.
Hototo—Fawzi Nass galloped Hototo with stablemate Krypton Factor over 900m on the dirt surface, and said: “They worked together and I was very happy with both of them. “Hototo will trot at home and go swimming at the quarantine centre between now and the race. He had two starts during the Dubai World Cup Carnival, finishing first and second, and we have kept him fresh for the big race as he likes gaps between his races. “We have freshened him up and hopefully he is in top condition. He had three runs here last year but lost his condition before the big night, which is why we didn’t run him, but I am much happier with him this time.”
Lancelot du Lac—The five-year-old son of Shamardal, who ran consistently at the Dubai World Cup Carnival for trainer Dean Ivory, was not seen out on the main track.
Mirza—Rae Guest’s Mirza looked fit during a hit out on the main dirt course.
Peniaphobia—Trainer Tony Cruz said: “He lost a little bit of weight on the flight and the guys say he is a bit quiet, but it’s nothing that you would be too worried about. I expect he will be on the main track in the morning. I arrive early on Tuesday and hope to see him out then, too.”
Sole Power— Eddie Lynam, trainer of Sole Power, said: “Sole Power went to the training track this morning. He is used to working on that surface and did a routine canter. “He will go to the grass track on Wednesday morning. He is in good form. He was a bit disappointing on Super Saturday, but hopefully will do better this Saturday.”
Stepper Point—Trainer William Muir and his son-in-law and big-race jockey Martin Dwyer caught up with the stable’s star performer of 2014 in the quarantine area on Monday morning.  Muir said: “Martin gave him a good trot round the exercise area and I’m very pleased with him, because he lost hardly any weight on the journey.  “He had a spin round Lingfield just over a week ago and is exactly where I want him to be, a lot fitter than this time last year, when he surprised me by winning first time out.”
Via Africa—Via Africa will be having her second local start for Mike de Kock. “We were very pleased with her run on Super Saturday,” said De Kock of the 6-year-old mare who finished ninth after stalking the leaders early. “She would have needed it but showed a lot of speed before really battling on in the final 200 meters. She has improved a lot since that outing and should be a player in an open race.”
$2 million Gulf News Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I)
Big Macher—Appearing on the Meydan track in the darkness before 5.a.m, the American Grade 1 winner accompanied California Chrome, one of the favourites for the Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates, for exercise. Looking alert, Big Macher jogged to the 1,200 meter marker and then galloped about 1,800 meters.  “I’m happy with that,” said trainer Richard Baltas. “He’s not a very aggressive horse and he looked around a little bit, but he went well. “I think it’s good to go (to the track) early. It’s cooler and the track is tight because they put some water on it at night.” Baltas is a good friend to Art and Alan Sherman, the father-and-son trainer team who condition California Chrome, and he said he is impressed by how well the 2014 Kentucky Derby winner has travelled and performed in his early training in Dubai. “I hope they win and I hope my horse runs well,” Baltas said.
Cool Cowboy—Cool Cowboy made his first start for Doug Watson on Super Saturday, finishing fourth in the group III Mahab Al Shimaal. “Considering he missed a month due to sickness and had only galloped four times, we were delighted with him,” said Watson. “He understandably was a bit leg weary in the closing stages after a troubled preparation but we needed to run him. “He has one more serious piece of work to do before Saturday, which should put him spot on. It is then a case of hoping for a good, low draw, so fingers crossed.”
El Padrino  —El Padrino is due to arrive in Dubai on Tuesday.
Krypton Factor—Fawzi Nass brought both of his Dubai World Cup night contenders to the track this morning for their final blowouts ahead of Saturday, with Krypton Factor bidding to win the 1200m Group 1 for the second time after scoring in 2013.  “It went very well and they worked over 900m on the dirt,” said Nass. “I was very happy with him and he will trot and swim between now and Saturday. We thought he would progress from his first run back here after spending last summer in England but he missed the break on his next start and it can be difficult to make up ground on the dirt. Hopefully he can bounce back on Saturday. He maybe isn’t where he was two years ago but he is still a battler.”
Lucky Nine—Trainer Caspar Fownes said: “He’s been on more planes than most people so he took the travel in his stride as usual. He’s a very fit horse and he went well in a barrier trial at Sha Tin last week. He’ll be out on the main track later in the week, not on Tuesday.”
Muarrab, Shaishee—Musabah Al Muhairi is doubly represented and said: “Conditions suit them both and they are in good shape at home. We think they should both be competitive in a strong field.”
Rich Tapestry—Trainer Michael Chang said: “He wasn’t in top form when he arrived. The vet said he lost weight and was a bit dehydrated.  “He has traveled to Dubai and America before and never had this problem but he seems to be recovering OK and I am hoping we can get him onto the main track on Tuesday morning for trackwork.”
Salutos Amigos—David Jacobson and Southern Equine Stables’ Salutos Amigos, who has been on the grounds since March 17, galloped 2,400 meters of the Meydan main oval on Monday in preparation for Saturday’s race. “The horse shipped over perfect last week and that was a big concern that we had,” trainer Jacobson said. “Generally I don’t think arriving so many days before a race makes much of a difference, but travelling this far, I do feel comfortable that we came as early as we did. The  Salute the Sarge gelding will breeze 600 meters on Wednesday. “He doesn’t need much,” Jacobson explained. “He’s been running consistently once a month for the last year. He’s dead fit. That’s one of the benefits of coming over here.”  Salutos Amigos enters the Dubai Golden Shaheen on a four-race winning streak. All of those recent scores have come at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York. “It (Meydan dirt) is the same track for everybody,” Jacobson said. “I don’t have a concern about it at all. He’s getting well over it. We’re confident he’ll run his race.” Cornelio Velasquez, who has all three times he’s been aboard Salutos Amigos, is named to ride on Saturday.
Secret Circle—Ridden by Dana Barnes, the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) winner breezed about 800m over the Meydan dirt track, finishing his work in :47 4/5 according to timing by trainer Bob Baffert’s former assistant, Eoin Harty, who will saddle My Johnny Be Good in the UAE Derby.  Barnes was smiling as she rode Secret Circle off the track. “He went really well,” she said. “He’s doing great here. He’s eating everything in sight and seems really happy.”  Baffert texted Harty soon after the work to obtain the time. The famous white-haired American trainer, who saddled Dubai World Cup winners Silver Charm and Captain Steve, won’t be making the trip to Dubai this time, trusting Barnes to “fly solo” with Secret Circle, she said.  A 6-year-old son of Eddington, Secret Circle has been a model of consistency in his 15-race career, winning seven times, finishing second six times (including a runner-up effort in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Sprint) and third once while earning $2,470,790. He is owned by Captain Steve’s owner, Michael Pegram, in partnership with Karl Watson and Paul Weitman.
Speed Hawk—Twice placed at Group 3 level during the Carnival, the Robert Cowell-trained four-year-old did not appear on the main track this morning.
Super Jockey—Trainer Tony Millard said: “My wife Bev is with him and she said that he coped with the travel nicely. He is eating up well and seems pretty nicely hydrated, so no problems. Touch wood, he remains the same.”
United Color—Dhruba Selvaratnam saddles United Color, the mount of Oisin Murphy. “He ran well when second on Super Saturday,” said Murphy. “The blinkers helped him and we were staying on very strongly. “They went very fast up front that day which was ideal for him and hopefully there will be plenty of pace in Saturday’s race.”
$1 million Meydan Sobha Godolphin Mile (UAE-II)
Bradester(USA) – The American multiple graded winner galloped 2400m on the Meydan dirt track under exercise rider Julie Stormfelt. “He’s enjoying it here,” Stormfelt said of the five-year-old. “He’s handling everything with no problems.” Trainer Eddie Kenneally, who sent out Kelly’s Landing to win the 2007 Dubai Golden Shaheen, may opt to breeze Bradester at Meydan this week but Stormfelt said she did not yet know what his final decision would be.
Dark Emerald—Dark Emerald had an easy morning on the main dirt course. Foreman Andrew Bubb said the horse was “just ticking over” after his successful lead-up campaign and did not need any fast gallops leading into Saturday’s race.
Forjatt—Dhruba Selvaratnam saddles Forjatt, the mount of Oisin Murphy. “This will only be his fourth run of the season and he has yet to disappoint,” said Murphy. “This is the toughest test he has faced but he deserves his chance.”
Gold City and Surfer—Trainer Satish Seemar sent his duo out for 800m workouts at his Zabeel Stables base and reported later during a news conference at Meydan that Surfer drilled the distance in :46 and change while Gold City, a less lively worker, completed his move in :48 and change.’ “I’m very pleased. Surfer gave his usual sparkling work,” Seemar reported, adding that Gold City has never been quick in the mornings but usually follows up with a good effort in his races. Surfer is the trainer’s best chance, he advised, but Gold City should not be overlooked “He’s very genuine,” Seemar added of Surfer, a six-year-old chestnut who won the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 over the Godolphin Mile distance in January and “loves” the new Meydan dirt surface. “I’m going in (to the race) very confident. As of this morning, the horse is in top form.” While Gold City has never won a major race, Seemar has never felt disappointed by the gelded six-year-old. “He’s a horse that, if given the right pace, could surprise,” Seemar said.
Layl—The Doug Watson-trained Layl has progressed from the domestic handicap ranks to get here. “The draw is going to be crucial in this race,” said Watson. “Hopefully we get a low berth and, if we do, he should be competitive. His run on Super Saturday was his third outing in less than a month but we had to run him to get him in this race. He ran well enough and we have freshened him up since.”
Pylon (SAF) – “He ran as well as we could expect on Super Saturday,” said Pylon’s trainer Mike de Kock. “We knew he was going to need that outing and he has thrived since then. He should be more competitive this time and, whatever he does on Saturday, he is a horse to look out for next year.”
Quadrivium (USA) – Stablemate to Dubai Sheema Classic contender Main Sequence, Quadrivium has had his activity to date confined to the training track according to assistant trainer Alice Clapham. “Graham (trainer, Motion) gets in this afternoon and we’ll decide if we will do something more with him,” she said.
$1 million Al Tayer Motors Dubai Gold Cup (UAE-II)
Almoonqith, Mushreq, Star Empire—”I was really impressed by Almoonqith’s win in the prep race,” said Mike De Kock who trains the Dubai Gold Cup trio. “Remember, he had the speed to win over 1600m in January and, for a stayer, he has a very valuable turn of foot. He is a big runner. “Mushreq needs to prove his stamina, while Star Empire ran better behind Almoonqith last time. He was third in this last year and can hopefully collect another check.”
Bathyrhon—The Pia Brandt-trained Bathyrhon was galloping on the grass track at Meydan on Monday morning. He left his stable together with fellow French representative Flintshire, but galloped on his own on the grass. Joaquim Brandt, husband of the trainer, said: “Everything went well. He seems in really good form and things are going along just as planned. He really seems to like it here.”
Brass Ring—Wayne Smith will be riding Brass Ring for Ismail Mohammed. “He will have needed his first start for us on Super Saturday,” said Smith. “He has been going well since and the step up in trip should suit him.”
Brown Panther—At 118, Brown Panther is the highest-rated runner ever to turn out in the newest race on the card. The Irish St Leger winner arrived safely in Dubai on Sunday and his general well-being was recorded in a 20-second video sent out on Twitter by travelling head groom Chris Ely. He reported that the seven-year-old had lost “only 8kg” on the journey. Like the other band of British-trained contenders who flew out on Saturday, he will exit quarantine in time to work on the main track on Tuesday morning.
CooptadoMeandre—Trainer Doug Watson said: “Things did not really pan out for him last time when the ground was pretty quick and he did not really stride out on it. “The two miles (3200m) should be ideal and we are hopeful of a good run. Pat Dobbs will ride. “We are stepping Cooptado up in trip and trying him in a ring bit and shadow roll to try to help him concentrate better in his race. Adrie De Vries rides a lot for the owners in Europe and takes the ride. He has won on the horse.”
Dormello—Dhruba Selvaratnam steps Dormello up in both class and trip. “He has won both his two most recent starts,” said the trainer. “It was a 2200m Group 3 he landed at Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi Championship) last time so this will be a different test. “He has to prove his stamina but can quicken well and they tend to not go too quick in these races at Meydan which should help him.”
Dubday— Qatar will be represented by Dubday, trained by Jassim Al Ghazali. “He is unbeaten in Qatar,” said the trainer. “He was badly hampered in the Dubai Sheema Classic last year and we hope for more luck this time. The extra distance should suit him and we are looking forward to running him.
Havana Beat–The British stayer warmed up for his big-race engagement with a fourth-place finish in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy Empowered by Ipic but did not appear on the main track this morning.
Marzocco—Trainer John Gosden’s only Dubai World Cup night runner arrived on Sunday morning and is due to clear quarantine tomorrow.


Maybellene Wins Sunland Oaks Via Callback DQ

Maybellene Wins Sunland Oaks Via Callback DQ

It was a bittersweet way for Bob Baffert to win his fifth straight $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks (VIDEO), but it was a win nonetheless.

Callback, off at odds of 3-10, crossed the wire first a neck ahead of fellow Baffert trainee Maybellene, but Sunland Park stewards disqualified the heavily favored Street Sense   filly who won the Las Virgenes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park last time out.

Because the Spendthrift Farm-owned Callback sharply came over and impeded Fancy and Flashy in the stretch, nearly going into the rail with jockey Martin Garcia, the filly was disqualified to fourth and Maybellene, ridden by Victor Espinoza, was named the victress.

By Lookin At Lucky  , Maybellene is owned by Baffert’s wife, Jill, and paid $9.80, $4.80, and $6.80 across the board.

Baffert said he thought Callback tried to jump the track marks left by the starting gate in the 1 1/16-mile race. Callback even lost the lead to her stablemate for a moment after the sharp move in, but rallied back to cross the wire first, covering the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.90.

“I’m happy the way they ran,” Baffert said of the two fillies. “I was hoping for a one-two finish, but I never expected that. It was a strange way it went down there at the end.”

Fancy and Flashy, who went off at 40-1 and opened up fractions of :21.44 for the quarter-mile and :45.83 for the half while Callback stalked and Maybellene sat back in fifth, was elevated to third with the disqualification and delivered $38 to show. Scat Means Go, at 20-1, was third, retuning $12.40 and $19.60. The $1 exacta paid $68.90 and the $1 trifecta returned $857.

Bred in Kentucky by Colts Neck Stables from the Giant’s Causeway   mare Greathearted, Maybellene claimed her first stakes win with the Sunland Oaks score, increased her earnings to $276,194, and pushed her career mark to 3-1-2 from 10 starts. She was a $140,000 purchase by Big Sky Stables at the Keeneland 2013 September yearling sale, where Three Chimneys Sales consigned.

Babes Cylver Slew, in fifth, was followed by Suva Harbor, We Need Art, and Rousanne, to complete the order of finish.